Wednesday, December 28, 2011
There is Always More
What is it that brings fulfillment? What is it that brings inner joy and peace? Is it the stuff we own, the things we accumulate? Is it the people we love and the people that love us? Is it God? What really matters in life?
Here was someone in his 30’s who had accomplished all of his dreams. Dreams that should have taken much longer to achieve, and he sat before us sharing how he had realized that this wasn’t the ingredient to lasting happiness.
“We lost our sight of our goal and purpose,” Ryan’s wife, Barb said.
“I am a slave to all of these things, my land, my businesses, my debt, everything I own,” Ryan began, “In the end, it all really just ends up owning you,” he said as he sighed. An 18 hour work day will do that to you. A wine store, a nonprofit, several internet businesses, an apparel company, 2½ acres of property with landscaping and a vineyard that required 10-14 hours of maintenance every weekend. A dream that now owned him, controlled him, and demanded his constant attention.
“People spend so much of their time looking forward and planning for the future. The irony of it all is that you spend all of your life attaining this American dream and in while doing so you miss out on the most important years of your life.”
My mind began to drift to my own life.
If I could only do this… If I could only have that….busy, busy, busy, working, working, working….we gotta get ahead. Spend a little time squeezed in here and there with the children, but how much time with them have I already missed? They grow and grow whether we are there or not. And why are we absent, mentally, and physically? For what? This dream of owning things that end up owning us? What have we been tricked into believing? Like a hamster running on a wheel, he runs and runs, looking forward to something, but never really satisfied by what he has accomplished. Running, always running for more.
The problem is,
there’s always more.
“We are so overwhelmed by what we own that we lose time. Time together. Time with God. Time to just be. We want to simplify,” said Ryan.
“So what are you going to do?” I asked.
“We are going to sell the house, the vineyard, and the wine shop,” Ryan answered.
He may as well just have taken out a match from his back pocket and said he was going to torch it all.
Both mine and my husband’s jaws dropped.